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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

Chapter Nine
THE  EVIL THAT  MEN  DO

HpHERE was peace at the court now, the peace of death. By the time
Su Tungpo left the capital with his family, all the brilliant scholars
oŁ the famous reign of Jentsung had been disposed of and had dispersed
out into the country. Ouyang Shiu was living in retirement at Fouyang
in Anhuei. The great friend of the Su family, Chang Fangping, was
living at Huaiyang, in Honan.

Tseyu, the year before, had been appointed a teacher in the district
college at the same place. There is something curious about Tseyu; less
Jbeadstrong than his brother, he had always, without compromising his
integrity, nevertheless been able to look out for himself and to choose a
safe and obscure position, living in the company of some great scholar.
Later, when Chang Fangping retired and moved to Shangchiu, then
called Nanking, or "Southern Capital", Tseyu had himself appointed
to a post there also, and in the following years Su Tungpo always
stopped at Chang Fangping's house on his way to and from die capital,
asking and getting advice from him as from an uncle, Szema Kuang
and Lu Kungchu were now to spend the following years in quiet retire-
^ient at the "Western Capital" in Loyang. Lu Huei fell ill and was
about to die, but before he died, he sent a conundrum for the Emperor
to solve.

"Your Majesty:

"Since my departure from the court I have fallen ill. There was
really nothing wrong with me, but I had a bad doctor, and was forced
to take all kinds of drastic medicines and strange prescriptions. In
time I developed a paralysis of the limbs, and my movements are no
longer free. But I suspect there is deeper trouble at the heart of the
whole system, for I feel a revolt from within. Now the disease has
developed to such a point, what can I do? Although my own person
is not important and I do not mind dying, still I am mindful of the
fact that I am a member of a house, entrusted with the duty toward
my ancestors, and I am greatly worried about my descendants."

The good old premier Fu Pi was not yet able to live quite at peace.
He had been degraded to a magistracy at Pochow, and had not been
dutiful in selling the loans to the farmers. Besides, he had the audacity
to write to the Emperor that "if this state of things keeps on, soon
wealth will be concentrated at the top and the people will be scattered
below." It was a great chance for one of Wang Anshih's men,

in